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Alternative Market Briefing

Aon acquires Willis Towers Watson in all stock deal

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Aon plc and Willis Towers Watson have announced a definitive agreement to combine in a $30 billion all-stock transaction. Willis Towers Watson will come under the Aon banner. The combined company will have an $80 billion valuation.

Aon will maintain operating headquarters in London. John Haley of Willis Towers Watson will take on the role of Executive Chairman with a focus on growth and innovation strategy. The combined firm will be led by Greg Case and Aon Chief Financial Officer Christa Davies.

According to a statement from the companies, the deal will allow them to expand their client footprint and build on the significant technology resources both firms already have. The companies say that the deal is expected to generate more than $10 billion in shareholder value and improve free cash flow.

On a call with analysts, Aon Chief Executive Officer Greg Case emphasized that combining both companies would make it easier and faster to bring new client solutions to market and add stability in an era marked by volatility. The two companies opened merger talks last year but those were scotched by a Bloomberg news report that outed the deal before terms were fully complete.

Both companies expect the deal to be completed in the first half of 2021 after securing regulatory approvals.

The deal may have one unexpected casualty, however - Willis Tower in Chicago. Willis Tower, originally the Sears Tower, was renamed after the ......................

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